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The incident gave hardly an impact upon his vastly greater preoccupations

Is comparative used as a modifier? If so, then how it could be used without any comparison shown in the sentence?

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    Please edit the formation and include the whole context if you please. – SovereignSun Aug 10 '17 at 13:00
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    There's an implied comparison, that it's greater than something else, but without more context it's impossible to say what the something else is. – stangdon Aug 10 '17 at 19:19
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I'm a native speaker and an English teacher. Since I don't know the context or the intended use of the sentence, it's a little hard to answer.

If you want to restate it without the comparative, you could say:

  • The incident hardly made an impact on his other preoccupations.
  • The incident hardly made an impact on his great preoccupations.
  • I am not the original asker, but may I ask you a question? Can I alter the original sentence The incident gave hardly an impact upon his vastly greater preoccupations into The incident hardly gave an impact upon his vastly greater preoccupations with the change of the position of hardly? The latter sentence sounds more right to me, though I am a foreigner learning English. If you answer this with a comment, I would be greatly grateful for that. Thank you. – Smart Humanism May 18 at 20:09

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